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Bosque County Sheriff calls on school districts to implement School Marshal Program

The School Marshal Program, passed by Texas lawmakers in 2013, is intended to "prevent the act of murder" at schools.

BOSQUE COUNTY, Texas — The Bosque County Sheriff called on all of the county's school districts Wednesday to implement the School Marshal Program. It comes in response to the tragedy in Uvalde where 19 children and two teachers were killed Tuesday by a gunman at Robb Elementary School.

"I feel it is time to take aggressive and deliberate steps toward the enhancement of our security measures in order to better protect the lives of our students and faculty," Sheriff Trace Hendricks said.

The School Marshal Program was passed as part of House Bill 1009 in 2013 in the 83rd Texas Legislative Session.

"The sole purpose of a School Marshal is to prevent the act of murder or serious bodily injury on school premises, and act only as defined by the written regulations adopted by the School Board/Governing Body," as defined by House Bill 1009.

Hendricks said Bosque County law enforcement has responded to threats of violence and while none resulted in injury or death, he said the potential for violence was present and cannot be dismissed.

"We must insure [sic] that our schools and the lives of our loved ones are as safe and secure as possible and that none are designated as a 'soft target,'" Hendricks said.

Hendricks said he hoped the program would be initiated immediately and in place by the start of the 2022 school year.

"My office and staff standby to assist you in this task, in any way possible," Hendricks said. "I will make myself available to meet with you and/or your board in order to provide any needed support during this endeavor and I welcome your questions and comments as we move forward."

According to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, a school must send a candidate for School Marshal to an 80 hour training course, conducted by a law enforcement academy that has been specifically prepared to provide the school marshal curriculum.

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